Gold futures settled higher on Monday, with prices finding support as U.S. benchmark stock indexes suffered a sharp decline. "Gold is clearly finding favor as portfolio insurance," said Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault. "Rising interest rates would typically offer a headwind to gold, but the risk of a [Federal Reserve] mistake in hiking too late is now worsened by the political impossibility of rescuing equity investors with cheap money," he said. The Fed will meet this week and is expected to make an announcement on monetary policy Wednesday. February gold rose $9.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,841.70 an ounce.